SAA Foundation Awards Five Disaster Recovery Grants

The Society of American Archivists Foundation recently awarded disaster recovery grants to five repositories struck by hurricanes and earthquakes in late 2017: 

  • The Department of Cultural Affairs of the Autonomous Municipality of Caguas (Puerto Rico) was awarded $1,896 to purchase equipment and cleaning supplies to stabilize and restore their collections from damage following Hurricane Maria.
  • The Autonomous Municipality of Toa Baja (Puerto Rico) received $4,300 to buy cleaning and safety supplies for the restoration and rescue of documents and records damaged during Hurricane Maria.
  • Galería 8 of the National Archives of Mexico (Mexico) was awarded $2,500 to hire staff to relocate part of the collections following strong earthquakes in September 2017.
  • The Historical Archives of the Luis Muñoz Marín Foundation (Puerto Rico) received $5,000 to clean documents affected by Hurricane Maria and place them in new archival boxes or containers.
  • The St. Thomas Historical Trust Museum (US Virgin Islands) was awarded $3,500 to purchase materials and pay volunteers to recover approximately 50% of the photograph collection that suffered water damage from Hurricane Maria. 

Awards are made from the Foundation’s National Disaster Recovery Fund for Archives, established by SAA and the Society of Southwest Archivists in 2005 to assist repositories affected by Hurricane Katrina. The scope of the Fund was later expanded to provide grants to repositories throughout the U.S., regardless of region or repository type. In November 2017, the Foundation Board further expanded the Fund by increasing the maximum grant amount to $5,000 and noting that, “Although the NDRFA is pointed toward the states, District of Columbia, and territories of the United States, under exceptional circumstances we will consider awarding grants to non-U.S. entities.”

The NDRFA Grant Review Committee continues to review applications, primarily from those affected by Hurricane Maria. Currently serving on that group are Miriam Meislik (Chair, institution), Richard Cameron (institution), Rebecca Elder (institution), Daniel McCormack (institution), Eve Neiger (institution), Melissa Torres (institution), and Julie Yamashita (institution).

If you would like to help support institutions through their disaster recovery efforts, consider donating to the NDRFA Fund.

Learn more about the National Disaster Recovery Fund for Archives and, if your institution has recently suffered damage from a natural disaster, consider applying for a grant.


The SAA Foundation is the nation’s leading source of nonprofit funding dedicated to the interests of archives and archivists. Donations to the SAA Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization, are tax deductible.

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